Since the Cleveland Browns’ new coaches and front-office staff took over in January, they have spoken of creating competition at quarterback.
That’s just fine with last year’s starter,
The second-year quarterback, in Cleveland Monday to sign autographs for fans at the Ford Display at the 2013 Cleveland Auto Show inside the I-X Center, said he welcomes the competition that will come in the Browns’ backfield.
“This game is all about competing,” Weeden said. “(Coach Rob Chudzinski) will tell me the same thing. They’re going to put the best players on the field, and that goes for the quarterback position. I’ve got to show that I’ve improved in year two and that’s why I’ve been working my tail off for the last two months.
“As a competitor, you want to compete. Whether it’s a quarterback, receiver, safety, whatever, you want competition because it makes you a better player, and it makes the team better. I’m open to it. It’s my job to get better and it’s my job to make this football team a better football team starting Week One.”
Weeden completed 297 of 517 attempts for 3,385 yards and 14 touchdowns against 17 interceptions in 15 starts last fall. A first-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2012, Weeden missed the final game of the year because of a shoulder injury he suffered in a loss at Denver on Dec. 23.
“I completely expect to be the starter,” Weeden said. “I’m confident in my ability to be the guy to lead this football team. Everybody that I talk to that’s a veteran in this league, they say, ‘Your biggest jump in this league is from year one to year two because you know what to expect.’ This is a tough league. You face so much adversity in year one because everybody you’re playing against is so good.”
Earlier in his career, Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner held the same position with the Dallas Cowboys and led the offense on back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams (1992-93). Three of Turner’s players from those Cowboys offenses -- quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin -- are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and Smith retired as the game’s all-time leading rusher.
Weeden said he is “excited about the future” of working with and being challenged by Turner. The former head coach of the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, took over as the Browns’ offensive coordinator on Jan. 17, 2013.
“That’s the way it should be,” Weeden said of being challenged. “That’s the way I’m going to approach it anyway. I’m going to challenge myself. I know what to expect. I’m not going into my first camp anymore. I kind of know how it works, as far as the daily schedule. Now, it’s all I can do to be dialed in, get focused on what we’re trying to do. I’m going to have to run a whole new offense, and there’s no time to sit back and relax. It’s full steam ahead once I get my hands on a playbook. I’m ready to get challenged. They’ve already said they’re going to challenge me, and as a player, that’s all I want.
“(Turner does) a lot of stuff to fit the skill sets of the guys around (him) and I think my skill set is throwing the ball down the field, throwing the ball and giving our receivers a chance to make plays vertically. I’m excited about that. It’s going to be fun.”